Cynthia Kadohata won the Newbery Award for Kira-Kira,
She won the Jane Addams Peace Award and Pen USA Award for Weedflower,
and she won the National Book Award for her recent novel, The Thing About Luck.
She knows how to write!
Cynthia starts by telling us that there's a revolving door between her non-writing life and her writing life.
And then she tells us these beautiful, moving stories from her personal life, like about the dog who came into her life and died eight years later. She was distraught at the loss, and her husband suggested she write down notes on everything she was feeling. She thought she had finished the manuscript for Kira-Kira, but after the death of her beloved pet, she went back into the story, inserting ALL that material into the book. It was the book that needed the least amount of revision. And it won the Newbery Award!
She tells us about needing to touch an elephant (an assignment from her editor!), and the adoption of her son from Kazakstan… tying the stories from her life into the creative process of creating her books.
"No matter what problem I'm having with my writing, the answer is always there, somewhere in my life."
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